Chiquita Baylor wins state level award with NASPA for her work in student affairs
Chiquita Baylor, director of the Office of Student Engagement, has been awarded the state Mid Level Professional Award for the Doris Michiko Ching Excellence in Student Affairs Award, which is given each year by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). Baylor was selected out of the entire state of Rhode Island to receive this award, and along with her state recognition, she will go on to be considered for the regional and national levels of this award.
“I was surprised to be selected out of nominees for a whole state, knowing that many of my colleagues around RI are doing many amazing things,” said Baylor about her award. “I’m very honored to be selected.”
The winner of Mid Level Professional Award of the Doris Michiko Ching Excellence in Student Affairs Award honors a student affairs professional at the state level with outstanding commitment to the profession of student affairs. This includes development of programs that address the needs of students, creation of a campus environment that promotes student learning and development, and active engagement in NASPA.
While Baylor has been working in student affairs for over 15 years, this recognition comes at a time of immense challenges across college campuses in the midst of a pandemic, social upheaval and racial justice. The fact that Baylor’s work has been noticed is affirming to her, according to Baylor.
“We all are being asked to do more with less around campus and around the state,” she said. “And to be a black woman receiving such an award during this time is also very honoring as well, because … to be amongst some of the black women honored this year is actually pretty awesome to know that I’ve made an impact.”
One of the anonymous nomination letters that was received for Baylor talks about the positive influence that Baylor has in her role of the director of student engagement at Salve Regina.
“She’s been an influential role model and mentor,” said the nomination letter. “She was my inspiration for pursuing a career in student affairs, and during my time as an undergraduate student, she routinely challenged me and pushed me out of my comfort zone to grow as an individual. For other students at our institution, she is a trusted staff member and provides a safe space for anything they may be dealing with.”
Baylor is a fourth-year doctoral student within the joint Education program offered by the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College, and she is completing it with research focused on examining the experience of collegiate black women activists to improve their experiences on college campuses. Her research is timely based on the country’s current reckoning with racial tensions and injustice.
“I hope that my research will help change the campus environments for black women and for all students of color,” Baylor said.